On this day (June 30) in 1862, French author Victor Hugo published the last installment of his massive novel Les Misérables. (A story on Vox.com celebrates the event.) Hugo is also the subject of a Google Doodle today to mark the achievement.
In those days, many novels were “serialized” (published in segments) in various newspapers and magazines so that middle-class readers could better afford to read them.
If you want to read the original 1200+ page version, Rentschler Library has one translation and the Modern Library edition by a different translator. There is also an abridged version (link to Amazon.com) published by Barnes & Noble in 2003. There are also editions available in French and, of course, the movie and musical.
With the end of the fiscal year almost here, our purchasing of new books is complete until after July 1st. Still, there are a lot of great new titles on our display. Links below, either in text or in the book cover image will take you to the library catalog, where you can place a hold on the item.
“In 1770, British soldiers fired into a crowd of people, killing five. Hinderaker deepens readers’ understanding of the event in a three-pronged approach: explaining the massacre’s historical context, examining the 18th-century documents that create dueling narratives of the event, and highlighting the different moments in history—namely the Kent State shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement—that invoke the massacre’s memory after violent crowd-policing incidents.” from Library Journal review
We get a lot of questions at the Information Desk about how to turn data into effective charts. This book can help. From the publisher: ‘Good Charts will help you turn plain, uninspiring charts that merely present information into smart, effective visualizations that powerfully convey ideas.”
Hag-Seed is 0ne of the latest additions to Hogarth’s collection of Shakespeare plays reimagined by novelists. “Atwood (Handmaid’s Tale) positively frolics in this rambunctiously plotted and detailed enactment of how relevant Shakespeare can be for a talented troupe behind bars. Supremely sagacious, funny, compassionate, and caustic, Atwood presents a reverberating play-within-a-play within a novel.”
from Booklist review
“Because there is virtually no firsthand evidence about the beliefs or actions of Christopher Marlowe (1564–93), Riggs (English/Stanford; Ben Jonson, not reviewed) turns to the culture and time that created him. He does so with authority and vigor, recapturing the climate of religious flux and common disaster, not just in England but across Europe, that surrounded Marlowe’s youth.”
from Kirkus review
Monday – Thursday – 8AM – 6PM
Friday- 8AM – 4:30 PM
Saturday & Sunday – Closed
Rentschler Library and the Office of Learning Assistance are proud to offer Cram Jam again this semester. There’ll be peer tutors in a variety of subjects, librarians, snacks and coffee. Open to all Miami students and hosted at Rentschler Library, Schwarm Hall, Miami Univ. Hamilton campus. The dates & hours of Cram Jam are:
Thursday, May 4, 6-9pm
Saturday, May 6, 12-5pm
Sunday, May 7, 3-10pm
This last poetry-related blog post of National Poetry Month is about our current United States Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera. He is the son of migrant farm workers and was educated at UCLA & Stanford. Herrera is a graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop and is a performance artist, activist, teacher.
The Poet Laureate’s official title is “Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.” The position “serves as the nation’s official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans. During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry.”
Rentschler Library has Herrera’s “Half the World in Light,” and “187 reasons mexicanos can’t cross the border.” Our featured poem by Herrera is “Almost Livin’ Almost Dyin” which was published in his collection “Notes on the Assemblage (jacket cover at left) and was also published on the Poetry Foundation website.
for all the dead
& hear my streets
with ragged beats & the beats
are too beat to live so the graves push out with
hands that cannot touch the makers of light & the
sun flames down through the roofs & the roots that slide
to one side & the whistlin’ fires of the cops & the cops
in the shops do what they gotta do & your body’s
on the fence & your ID’s in the air & the shots
get fired & the gas in the face & the tanks
on your blood & the innocence all around & the
spillin’ & the grillin’ & the grinnin’ & the game of Race
no one wanted & the same every day so U fire &
eat the smoke thru your long bones & the short mace
& the day? This last sweet Swisher day that turns to love
& no one knows how it came or what it is or what it says
or what it was or what for or from what gate
is it open is it locked can U pull it back to your life
filled with bitter juice & demon angel eyes even though
you pray & pray mama says you gotta sing she says
you got wings but from what skies from where could
they rise what are the things the no-things called love
how can its power be fixed or grasped so the beats
keep on blowin’ keep on flyin’ & the moon tracks your bed
where you are alone or maybe dead & the truth
carves you carves you & calls you back still alive
cry cry the candles by the last four trees still soaked
in Michael Brown red and Officer Liu red and
Officer Ramos red and Eric Garner whose
last words were not words they were just breath
askin’ for breath they were just burnin’ like me like
we are all still burnin’ can you hear me
can you can you feel me swaggin’ tall & driving low &
talkin’ fine & hollerin’ from my corner crime & fryin’
against the wall
almost livin’ almost dyin’
almost livin’ almost dyin’
Please come to the 10th annual poetry reading event, Thurs. April 20th 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Wilks Conference Center. Read your favorite published poem and enjoy free refreshments. Sponsored by Rentschler Library and the Department of Literatures, Languages, and Writing.
One of the poetry books added in the last year is the 3rd ed. of “250 Poems: a Portable Anthology,” ed. by Peter Schakel and Jack Ridl. This slim volume has a nice variety of chronologically-arranged poems from the last 500 years – from Geoffrey Chaucer, b. 1343, and his Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, to “Snail, or, To a House.” by Aracelis Girmay, b. 1977. The index includes a section that arranged the poems by content (eg. city life, patriotism, motherhood). It also has a glossary of poetic terms, and some helpful advice on “How to Write About Poetry – and Why.” Short biographies of the poets are also available in the back of the book. We are featuring a poem by Natasha Trewethey called “History Lesson,” which appears on pg. 290. Trewethey was twice the Poet Laureate of the U.S. (2012 and 2014) and Poet Laureate of Mississippi (her home state) and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for her collection “Native Guard.” Her list of other awards is long.
“History Lesson” by Natasha Trewethey, p. 290 of “250 Poems.”
I am four in this photograph, standing
on a wide strip of Mississippi beach,
my hands on the flowered hips
of a bright bikini. My toes dig in,
curl around wet sand. The sun cuts
the rippling Gulf in flashes with each
tidal rush. Minnows dart at my feet
glinting like switchblades. I am alone
except for my grandmother, other side
of the camera, telling me how to pose.
It is 1970, two years after they opened
the rest of this beach to us,
forty years since the photograph
where she stood on a narrow plot
of sand marked colored, smiling,
her hands on the flowered hips
of a cotton meal-sack dress.